Software engineering gschool is offering money back guarantee to graduates on $20,000 tuition

Land job paying $60,000 or your tuition is free

DENVER - A new software engineering school in Denver is offering a money-back guarantee.  If graduates do not land a job within three months that pays at least $60,000 a year, their tuition is free.  

More than 200 prospective students have already applied for 24 available spots in the first gschool class.  Chris Onan, managing director of galvanize, said he is expecting even more applicants.

"60-plus hours a week, this is on the job applied learning, building real websites. This is very germane to what the developers will be doing on day one when they jump into their new job," said Onan.

$20,000 buys students a Mac book and enrollment in the six-month software engineering program.  7NEWS checked and gschool is not accredited, so students' lending options for tuition are different.

"We'll be the bank," Onan said.

gschool is banking on students' success within three months of graduation.

"If they don't have a job making $60,000 or more then it's a money-back guarantee," Onan said.

The school is betting nearly half a million dollars on as many as 24 graduates, but Onan said he likes the odds.

"The reason why we feel good about the guarantee is just the structural dynamics of the software developer market place.  There is a high demand for software developers and not that many and it's that simple. There is almost 0 percent unemployment among software developers. There's 200 open job specs for software developers. We need more software developers.  All of that gives us confidence that this program is going to make sense for both students and for us," Onan said.

Job postings can be found in the same building as the gschool classroom.

"Just in this building at galvanize1, there are 20-30 companies that are looking to hire software developers. So for us, we look at it and say, 'Hey, it is a natural fit to have gschool turning out talented software developers in a community of companies that are looking to hire those software developers,'" Onan said.

7NEWS checked and the gschool money-back guarantee comes with some fine print including intent.

"You do have to want to be hired, because some people want to go through this program and start a business. That's part of it," said Onan.
Students also have to participate in at least 75 percent of the job placement matchmaking activities during the course and graduate from the program.  According to a gschool document, students are also required to "Pursue employment in good faith,"  and "Be eligible to work in the U.S."
Onan said the 24 gschool students accepted into the program will sign a contract agreeing to those qualifications.  7NEWS requested a copy of the contract to review, but were told paperwork is still being drafted.
"It may sound too good to be true. But if you're in the software world, there are no developers, and it's very hard to hire them.  We kind of think this is a no-brainer," Onan said.
Applications to gschool will be accepted until December 3.  Graduation for the first gschool class is projected for July 2013.
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